Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Nushrinah Sadeer who is global marketing manager at NetApp:

Carlota Pico 0:13
Hi everyone, I’m Carlota Pico from The Content Mix, and I’m excited to be here today with Nushrinah Sadeer who is global marketing manager at NetApp and has over 6 years of experience in marketing and communications. Welcome Nushrinah, and thank you so much for joining us today on The Content Mix.

Nushrinah Sadeer 0:32
Thank you, Carlota. Nice to be here.

Carlota Pico 0:34
The pleasure is ours Nushrinah. Okay to get this interview started off, I’d like to ask you a little bit about your background. How did you get to where you are today?

Nushrinah Sadeer 0:43
Yeah, sure. So I would like to take you back to a story that happened to me when I was younger. And so I was at this time I was in Paris living there, where I was born, and at 14 years old, basically, I joined something called “EXITE Camp” that was driven by IBM. It was a program realized to, you know, let’s say attract young girls into the IT industry. And then from that experience, I learned a lot. And I got attracted to follow a career in in IT from that day. And then I moved to the UK when I was around 15/16 years old. And then I started to study from high school to university. And then when I went to university I studied international business was French at Kingston University. And then as part of my study, I decided to do a placement year. And funniest as it is was with NetApp, so I was an intern at NetApp. I was working for the channel marketing team, where I learned a lot around how to meet partner needs and demands. And I was working a bit on the communication side as an intern as well. It was really, really interesting. My focus was the MDF program which stands for market development firms. It was a fun year, it was really really great to, you know, do that internship and has opened up so many things around my skill sets and you know, confidence as well. And then I graduated and got first class, and I joined SolidFire, which was a startup company. And then as funny as it is, it got acquired by NetApp. I feel like it was destiny in a bit. So went back to NetApp, and from that day, I just stayed on up until up until today. I had great exposure from being a marketing assistant to marketing manager and so on…working at the EMEA level of being exposed to the full marketing mix from, you know, doing demand generation campaigns, social media events, and so on. So I can give you a full list—it’s really, really long. I managed to get so much, you know, skill sets from there. And today, just recently in May, I got a new role. And now I’m covering worldwide. So EMEA, America and APAC, which is a new step for me, a new challenge, which I totally embrace.

Carlota Pico 3:20
Okay, excellent. Well, what a beautiful full circle, right?

Nushrinah Sadeer 3:24

Carlota Pico 3:25
Also, let me take this opportunity to give a shout out to our own intern who today has been hired for a full time role. Mary, thank you for all your hard work. We really appreciate your work and what you’ve provided to our team, talking about interns, right? And who later become team members as well. Full time team members. Okay, excellent—well, tell me a little bit about NetApp. What is that NetApp? What’s your thirty second pitch?

Nushrinah Sadeer 3:50
Yeah, sure. So NetApp is a data authority for hybrid clouds. It has been named the leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the last few years for the past few years, and NetApp provide hybrid class solutions and software’s to customers and partners worldwide.

Carlota Pico 4:12
Okay, have you always wanted to work in technology? Or did you just happen to land in it?

Nushrinah Sadeer 4:18
It’s a good question. I was attracted to the IT industry but I wasn’t too sure I would land into, you know, a career in IT. And at the end of the day, it did happen. So I’m kind of happy to be honest with you. I wouldn’t change it for the world, at the moment. I really enjoy being in the IT industry.

Carlota Pico 4:35
Okay, excellent. I do want to talk about skills, that you mentioned before that you’ve acquired lots of skills along your journey, which makes me remind myself that skills are acquired right? Skills can be trained for, you can educate yourself on different topics and you can always learn something new every single day, but qualities you’re kind of born with qualities. They’re part of your DNA, and they are who you are. And your different life experiences shape who you become, right? So let’s say that you’re promoted to Global Head of Marketing Director tomorrow, and you have to hire somebody for your current role. What type of skills…what type of combination of skills and qualities would you look for in a new hire?

Nushrinah Sadeer 5:22
And that’s an excellent question. So, I would really highly recommend someone that is open minded and can embrace new challenges every day. I will say as part of my role and for my career, one thing I think that was the key for me was to really really embrace new challenges, being you know, really open to new projects, to new campaigns, trying to pilot new things. Also, one thing to consider as well. The reason why I said to be open minded is you have to work with a wide range of stakeholders from different cultural backgrounds, in different countries and different languages, so it’s really important that you can fit into this environment. I would also say it’s important to have teamwork skills and project management. In many occasions you will work on many campaigns and many projects with different stakeholders, whether it’s from the sales perspective, you know, technical perspective, marketing and so on. So you need to be able to work within different level of stakeholders, from C-Level exact to technical, for example, you know, stakeholders. You also need to make sure you know how to target the right audience as well. So it’s important to have this full concept of you know, working as a team and welcoming new ideas. I would also mention two more skills and then I will stop from there. I would say listening skills and problem solving. It’s really, really important to listen to other team members. Problem solving skills is because on many occasions, you will be asked to use your own initiative to find new solutions. For problems you could find, you know, within, you know, the timeline of any campaigns. So it can be short-term, or full-term, long-term solution. But you really need to be confident that whatever happens, you can provide a solution, whatever it could be.

Carlota Pico 7:33
Okay, spinning off of that. Do you have any marketing hacks for brands that are on a low budget?

Nushrinah Sadeer 7:39
Yeah, sure. I’ve been working on many projects where I had no budget. So I really had to think about how do you use internal resources whether its existing, you know, platforms, whether its the existing solution that you have, to make sure you can virtualize what you’re trying to sell to your customers or partners, and that way you can reduce your cost as well and make sure you can achieve your goal. So yeah.

Carlota Pico 8:08
Okay, well I do want to quote the CEO Walt Disney. He said that the heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation. In light of the global pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter movement, what marketing campaigns have you really admired lately and why?

Nushrinah Sadeer 8:29
Sure, so, recently I’ve been, you know…one of my colleagues was talking about a campaigned that happened in the US. And it’s “Scent by Glade” who has teamed up with Walmart, actually. The full concept of “Scent by Glade” is candles, and with the pandemic situation, it’s been very very difficult for them to get customers to smell their products and buy, you know, the candles. So what they have decided is when an online shopper will make online, you know, purchase to Walmart, they will receive a box, and basically Glade is reusing the bubble wrap. So the bubble wrap will contain the scent inside. So when you open the box, you will have the bubble wrap, and then when you burst the bubble wrap, you will be able to [smell] this new scent. It’s really clever and innovative because you don’t have to go in a shop anymore, you just stay at home and have a personal experience around it and it’s amazing, because then you can say “Hey, I like it!” and if you were to want to purchase it, well the clever idea is on that bubble wrap, at the back, they put at QR code so you just have to scan with your phone and go ahead and make the purchase. So, it’s quite amazing. I find it really innovative. It’s a great way to get, you know, the customers to have a personal experience at home and with the pandemic situation, it’s a good, you know, response to it, so I really liked it.

Carlota Pico 11:02
Yeah, no, I love it as well, I wasn’t aware of it, thank you for bringing it to our attention. It’s a great campaign. I mean, it’s so great on so many different levels. So, on the one side, it’s great because of the UX—UX, although it’s not a tech company, but like UX, because it’s really easy to buy the product, right? All you have to do is scan the code, if you like the scent. And then two, because obviously, it’s impossible to smell anything through a screen. So they decided to adapt quickly to the global pandemic, and use a product that will help its potential users to smell what the candle could smell like. So I mean, it’s very innovative and also quick to their toes, hey. I mean, their marketing team has been very, very quick to come up with something like that.

Nushrinah Sadeer 11:50
I agree, totally. I was really impressed about it. It’s a shame we can’t do it here.

Carlota Pico 11:56
Well I mean, you never know—you could always just build a candle company.

Nushrinah Sadeer 12:00

Carlota Pico 12:01
The world is full of opportunities and new experiences. Okay, Nushrinah, moving into my next question. When it comes to content HubSpot’s CEO said the following: “What separates good content from great content is a willingness to take risks and push the envelope.” Taking it to a marketing level, what separates good marketing from great marketing?

Nushrinah Sadeer 12:26
In my opinion, good marketing is when you tick all the boxes and you meet the benchmark, and then you kind of stop and don’t do more than that. Great marketing is about constantly, you know, innovating yourself and bringing fresh ideas all the time— piloting things taking risk as well. So one concept I like to think as a marketer actually, personally, whenever I do a project or campaign, I like to take a DevOps approach to it. I know it sounds may be funny, but I like the DevOps approach of you create something, you develop it, you test it, and then if it works, and you repeat again. I love this idea because it means that you constantly innovate, but you find new ideas, and you don’t stop from there. So you there’s always like a way to continuously improve yourself and improve your campaign, but also stand out from the crowd and your competition. So as a, you know, marketer, I know, for example, when we do a campaign and it’s a success, we would like to replicate it as a best practice elsewhere. So for me great marketing is to know how to be agile in the market and how to respond quickly to demand as well, and grow very quickly, as well.

Carlota Pico 13:44
And if it works, do it again!

Nushrinah Sadeer 13:46

Carlota Pico 13:48
Excellent. Well that’s a great way of reducing costs, right? Just replicating what has already worked and adapting it to other local markets and seeing if it works there as well, instead of like reinventing the wheel.

Nushrinah Sadeer 13:59
Yeah, I think that’s the best way. From my approach, I think, you know, it’s just you need to think about how you’re going to accomplish things faster. Are you going to get to your angle with something that’s going to work? Instead of replicating something that’s not going to work or starting from scratch sometimes takes longer. And sometimes, you don’t have all the time or resources or the budget necessary. So you kind of need to think outside the box.

Carlota Pico 14:25
Yeah, no. So then, that leads me to my next question, how do you prioritize your campaigns? I mean, what comes first?

Nushrinah Sadeer 14:32
So the way I like to prioritize my campaign is to really understand who is my target audience, who am I trying to attract, who am I trying to target? But also how am I going to track them? You know, online. So it could be I do digital campaign, and I want you to know, hey, are they visiting my website or are they downloading my web paper? And so on… So based on let’s say, my target criteria, and who I’m trying to target, I will then set clear strategy goals and objectives and timeline, because I think it’s important to know how long your campaign will last. And then after I’ve done this, I like to assess risks, costs, and resources and a budget, as well. For me, that’s another key aspect I’like to do. Then the third point, I would say, is to make sure you have realistic metrics that you can measure your success of your campaign, so you know, what you’re measuring against, do you have a benchmark, you know, tagline where, you know, am I doing good? Am I doing bad? You know, do I need to improve on this or not? And then last, but not least, one thing I’ve been, you know, recently looking into for my current role, is, how can I create a scoring model for my project? So I would like to be able to say, “Hey, you know, what, if I have 10 different campaigns for this quarter, how do I which one is the most important one?” So we can set criteria such as say, you know, criteria could be, hey, how much resources are we expanding into it? Who’s the target audience into it? You know, is it going to be beneficial for ourselves? Is it going to be beneficial for marketing, is it a lead gen campaign or an awareness campaign? And so on. So I think having a scoring, you know, model to, you know, prioritize your campaigns could be one way to make sure you prioritize your list accordingly.

Carlota Pico 16:32
Okay, what about timing, though? Because you mentioned timelines. So how a long campaign is going to be online or offline, depending on where you’re promoting it? And your distribution channels, of course. But what about timing, because you’re working across multiple markets and every market has a different time, right? So not only in terms of public holidays, but also in terms of time zones, and everything that goes along with that. So what role does that play in your campaigns? And in terms of prioritization?

Nushrinah Sadeer 17:03
Sure, I think timing is very crucial in this context, just because you need to ensure that in the different markets, it works differently. So for example, sometimes you need to translate some of the content if you were to go in the market, like I don’t know, Japan, for example. And I always say it really depends, as well. So we say in terms of timing it’s important to have a great collaboration with sales to understand if the company we’re developing from marketing perspective, will meet the needs. That would be my approach to it.

Carlota Pico 17:38
Okay, excellent. So then moving into your advice and tips, although you’ve already given us fabulous tips, but I still want to pick your brain obviously on much more—I think you have a much more to offer to our audience. So let’s say… let’s talk about marketers who are struggling to create engaging, valuable content. What advice tips or insights would you give them?

Nushrinah Sadeer 18:02
Great question. I think when it comes to content, it sometimes can be really tricky. So my advice would be to make sure your content is engaging, is interactive, you know, you can need some content to be interactive. So for example, have an interactive infographic, or having some, let’s say, polls and surveys when you do a webinar or an event digitally. So making sure, you know, at the same time as the customer or a prospect is learning or, you know, informing themselves about new things, they get to do at the same time interacting with your content, with your messaging, and that way, they feel more like engaged with you, and they can feel that customer experience, that personal experience with your brand, as well, in some sort of way. And the other thing I would recommend is to make sure you look at the tone of voice, you look at it target audience. So for instance, when you target a C-Level exec versus a technical, you know, prospect, you have to use different languages and different keywords as well. So it’s important to really look into how you use your content to approach your target audience. And you need to make sure you do it with the right approach. Because if you send the wrong content, it could lead to, you know, not the positive aspects of what you expect from your lead gen campaigns, you wouldn’t get a response. So what you want to do is make sure you look into it deeper, and you you touch on all the customer touch points, if possible.

Carlota Pico 19:41
Okay, thank you. Let’s finish up this interview with a practical example. Could you zoom into a project or campaign that you’re particularly proud of, and focus on its purpose and also on what made it stand out, please?

Nushrinah Sadeer 19:56
Sure. So I would like to take something I created a few years ago, stop counting on it. But so basically, I created z DevOps club. Let me give you some context into it. So one of the key challenges I was facing when I was a, you know, a marketeer, at that time was I was trying to, you know, draw a presence in a DevOps board. But I was struggling because it was only myself and the developer advocates. I wasn’t aware of who were the, you know, the experts internally. So, what I have decided is set up this campaign using my own initiative. And in that way, I managed to network, connect with a wide range of stakeholders such as sales reps, SE, technical experts, and so on. And it was a you know, a great way to be able to grow very quickly in the market. So basically I was leveraging the experts in the different countries, and this was when we managed to, you know, grow the presence of NetApp, in Germany, France and so on, using these guys without, you know, having to necessarily start from scratch. They already had the conversation going with some key customers. So is was just like trying to build together a committee and a robust team. So we can grow faster, innovate and make sure we keep our presence in that, you know, target market we were trying to get into.

Carlota Pico 21:31
Okay, excellent. Talk about not reinventing the wheel and using what you have in order to target the right audience and expand into a new market. Excellent example.

Nushrinah Sadeer 21:41
Thank you.

Carlota Pico 21:42
Okay, Nushrinah, well know those were great insights. Thank you so much for joining us on The Content Mix. It was awesome to meet you and to learn about your experience.

Nushrinah Sadeer 21:49
Thank you.

Carlota Pico 21:50
And to everybody listening in today, thank you for joining us on The Content Mix. For more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out The Content Mix. We’ll be releasing interviews just like this one every week, so keep on tuning in. Thanks again, have a fantastic day, and see you next time. Bye!

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